Neutral gender marker option for Employment Insurance applicants

News release

August 30, 2018           Gatineau, Quebec                   Employment and Social Development Canada

Today, the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development announced an update to the Employment Insurance (EI) application that will provide a more inclusive service experience for all Canadians.

In accordance with the Government’s commitment to promote and protect diversity and the rights and freedoms of all Canadians, EI applicants will now have an additional, non-binary gender “X” option when ‎applying for EI benefits.

Identities are complex and notions of gender can have a profound effect on how Canadians experience daily life. A non-binary option for individuals who do not identify as male or female is becoming increasingly common in Canada and around the world. At the federal level, an additional gender option is also available on applications for citizenship, immigration and travel documents or a social insurance number.‎

This is consistent with the government objective to better reflect the realities of our society through the services it provides to all Canadians.

The Government of Canada is committed to upholding the human rights of all Canadians. Following the enactment of Bill C-16, this new measure demonstrates Canada’s commitment to the full equality of the LGBTQ2 community.


“Once again, our government is proudly delivering on its promise to build a more inclusive society for all Canadians, including the LGBTQ2 community. All Canadians deserve to be treated with dignity and respect, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity. Today’s announcement is yet another demonstration of our commitment to the freedom and equality of Canadians of all genders.”
– The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development

“The Government of Canada believes in an inclusive Canada where we are free to be who we are without discrimination. We will continue to improve programs and services to ensure all Canadians have access to government services with fewer barriers.”
– Randy Boissonnault, Special Advisor to the Prime Minister on LGBTQ2 Issues

Quick facts

  • The Government of Canada’s Gender Statement in Budget 2018's Gender Results Framework demonstrates openness and transparency around gender and diversity. The Framework reflects the Government’s priorities for gender equality, highlighting the key issues that matter most.

  • In Budget 2018, the Government of Canada has announced investments of $6.7 million over five years to Statistics Canada to establish a Centre for Gender, Diversity and Inclusion Statistics.

Associated links


Valérie Glazer
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Families, Children and Social Development

Media Relations Office
Employment and Social Development Canada
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